Hepatitis A Exposure Lawsuits. You may be at risk for Hepatitis A if you attended Mass and received Holy Communion at Our Lady of Lourdes Roman Catholic Church in Massapequa Park, Long Island, New York. Apparently, someone at the Long Island church involved in distributing Holy Communion on Christmas Day was infected with Hepatitis A. At first, it was believed that the Hepatitis A risk was limited to those who attended certain services on Christmas Day, but later, it was learned that those who received Holy Communion at Our Lady of Lourdes on December 26, 2010 may also have been exposed to Hepatitis A.Lawyers at our firm who specialize in food poisoning litigation are investigating the Hepatitis A scare at Our Lady of Lourdes Church. If you or a loved one were among the hundreds of Our Lady of Lourdes churchgoers facing the specter of Hepatitis A, you may have valuable legal rights. Our ‘Hepatitis A’ lawyers are currently offering free lawsuit evaluations to anyone whose health was put at risk following services at Our Lady of Lourdes. We urge you to contact our firm right away to protect your legal rights.
Our Lady of Lourdes Hepatitis A Exposure
On January 3, 2011, the Nassau County Department of Health announced that hundreds of people who attended Christmas Day Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes Church could have been exposed to Hepatitis A. The person who exposed the communion wafers to the contagion became ill during the week after Christmas. Several days later, blood tests confirmed the individual was suffering from ‘Hepatitis A’.
In its initial announcement, the health department warned that individuals could be at risk of contracting Hepatitis A if they received communion during the 10:30 a.m. and 12 noon Masses on December 25, 2010. Several days later, the department announced that worshipers who received Holy Communion at Our Lady of Lourdes Church at the 7:30 a.m., 9:00 am, 10:30 a.m., 12:00 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. Mass on December 26 should also seek treatment. That’s because some of the hosts touched by the infected person at the first two services may have been mixed in with hosts used at the six subsequent Masses.
The incident prompted the health department to offer preventative vaccination therapy at the church.
‘Hepatitis A’ is typically contracted from contaminated food or water or from close contact with an infected individual. Mild Hepatitis A cases resolve without treatment and most of those infected recover fully with no permanent liver damage. Washing hands often is among one of the best ways in which to protect oneself from the virus; vaccines are available.
Hepatitis A symptoms typically appear after one month following contamination and include:
- nausea and vomiting
- abdominal pain or discomfort, especially near the liver
- appetite loss
- low-grade fever
- dark urine
- muscle pain
- jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
These symptoms can last anywhere from two to six months, although some infected people never develop symptoms. Once exposed to Hepatitis A, prevention can be achieved via a Hepatitis A vaccine or immunoglobulin therapy within the first two weeks.
Hepatitis A is usually thought of as the least serious of all the hepatitis viruses. Unlike the Hepatitis B and C virus, Hepatitis A does not cause chronic liver disease, and will not result in liver cancer. However, each year, ‘Hepatitis A’ causes a substantial number of people to get very ill. Some of these people require hospitalization. Many others, although not needing hospitalization, lose a significant amount of time from their jobs.
While it is generally not fatal, ‘Hepatitis A’ does account for approximately 100 deaths each year in the U.S. People greater than 50 years old are at a 5- 10 times greater risk of having a fatal outcome due to ‘Hepatitis A’ compared with all ages combined. Furthermore, it has been shown that when a person with another liver disease, such as chronic Hepatitis C or B, becomes infected with ‘Hepatitis A’, they may experience a particularly serious and potentially life-threatening form of hepatitis.
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